I don't know about you, but dieting to me is TORTURE! As soon as you tell me I can't eat something- I eat it. Then I feel guilty when I eat something that is "bad" for you and that will eventually kill me if I eat too much of it, and I vow to do better the next day... but just CAN'T seem to do it. After trying to eat only "healthy" I realized if "dieting" is torture to you, like it is to me... then it isn't healthy PERIOD, because you are losing your sanity! Food shouldn't make you feel guilty-- and I know some people say it shouldn't make you feel happy either- you should only think of it as fuel. And I say-- whatever floats their boat-- fine-- but it doesn't float mine! Each person has to find what works for them. One diet may work for your friend- that may send you into an eating frenzy, or a state of bulimia.
Diet is 70% of the results you see in your body. NOW- I do know some VERY hardcore "clean" eaters... but they don't workout.. EVER- and it shows too. So, yes- while they are not "fat" they are not "fit" and they don't look fit either. So-- I would say from experience that diet and exercise are more 50/50. You really do need BOTH-- but if you want to see the last bits of muscle, like an actual six-pack, then-- your diet does have more to play towards the end of getting the body you want.
Ok, back to the point... I used to be one of those strict dieters, eating everything perfectly during the week- but then on weekends I would pig out so bad, as those were my "off" days, that it would make all my hard work during the week practically counter productive. So, while I wasn't gaining weight- I wasn't losing either-- and so I wasn't happy, because I didn't understand why-- so I would stress over it, get mad at myself, get mad at my stupid genetics, and cry. Then come Monday I would start all over again with a renewed spirit to work even harder!! Looking at it now- it doesn't seem like a balanced and healthy lifestyle at all. But in that moment- I thought it was the perfect plan.
Well, my diet mentality all changed when one of my friends who is a registered dietitian recommended that I read Intuitive Eating!
And boy- did this book make SO much sense to me! I kept saying to myself, "YES! That is ME!" "Oh my gosh- that is right!" I don't want to sound cliche and say it was life altering-- but it was "diet altering" for me! And for the last 3 years- I have not restricted myself ONCE from ANYTHING--- unless I wasn't hungry. And I have never felt better mentally, physically, emotionally, etc... I don't have internal fights with myself anymore about"I really want this" "oh, but I can't because I need to lose weight" "but it would just be one- and that won't hurt" "but I never really stop at one" and before you know you have eaten the whole 1/2 gallon of ice-cream and are wondering where it went. (or is that just me) and you can bet- in the last four weeks I have had some ice-cream and some brownies, and some other treats. In fact, I had a banana split from Maggie Moo's the night before posting my latest pictures-- HEY- I was hungry!:)
It is a FANTASTIC book- and totally worth every penny, or rent it from your library, or borrow it from a friend. I lost 10 pounds, without trying, as soon as I started to eat intuitively. The basic principle is to eat when you are hungry (as in get to know your body again) and stop when you are full (or rather satisfied) .
If you think about it, this is what we do when we are babies-- we start out eating every 2-3 hours and we KNOW when we are hungry! We feel it and we cry until we get our stomach's full again. We lose this somewhere along the way- when we are given a bottle or food to keep us quiet, to keep us busy, to keep us from crying-- and we start to build the habit of mindless eating, emotional eating, social eating, eating out of boredom, etc....
It is time to get back to the basics-- you may go a day without feeling "hungry" but if you wait, and listen to your body, eventually it will naturally want to eat 4-6 small meals a day vs. 3 big ones.
There are times when I go off the wagon even from intuitive eating and I stuff myself and I remember the uncomfortable feeling of feeling like a blob and wanting to just sit around because you feel like you are going to explode--but I have been the happiest with Intuitive Eating by FAR!
So- choose to be an intuitive eater-- go get the book- and read it! It really does drive a lot of good points home. It is by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. And you may THINK that if you did this- you would eat junk all the time... and I thought the same thing, even when they said- that wouldn't happen, I thought-- WELL, you don't KNOW me!! -- Well - it is true-- your body craves healthy stuff. If you feed it bad food long enough, it will eventually say- ok- give me an apple-- and you will eventually balance out what your body needs to eat.
Intuitive eating will help you balance out your life-- and not make you just focus on "what you can eat, and what you can't eat"-- BALANCE -- it truly is what we need- we don't need to feed ourselves anymore negativity just because we ate an ice-cream cone!